The Velikovsky Affair book by Alfred de Grazia and Ralph E Juergens and Livio C Stecchini is a review of the Velikovsky controversy when Immanuel Velikovsky published his revolutionary and controversial book Worlds In Collision.
Alfred de Grazia review of The Velikovsky Affair
In 1950, a book called Worlds in Collision, by Dr Immanuel Velikovsky, gave rise to a controversy in scientific and intellectual circles about scientific theories and the sociology of science. Dr Velikovsky’s historical and cosmological concepts, bolstered by his acknowledged scholarship, constituted a formidable assault on certain established theories of astronomy, geology and historical biology, and on the heroes of those sciences. Newton, himself, and Darwin were being challenged, and indeed the general orthodoxy of an ordered universe. The substance of Velikovsky’s ideas is briefly presented in the first chapter of this book.
What must be called the scientific establishment rose in arms, not only against the new Velikovsky theories, but against the man himself. Efforts were made to block dissemination of Dr Velikovsky’s ideas, and even to punish supporters of his investigations. Universities, scientific societies, publishing houses, the popular press were approached and threatened; social pressures and professional sanctions were invoked to control public opinion. There can be little doubt that in a totalitarian society, not only would Dr Velikovsky’s reputation have been at stake, but also his right to pursue his inquiry, and perhaps his personal safety.
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